The coronavirus has made a significant number of people sick, and it has also dealt a heavy blow to the gaming industry. Multiple events, such as the Pokemon Europe International and TwitchCon Amsterdam, have been canceled, and Bungie implemented remote work infrastructure to combat the disease’s spread. Now, the virus has taken its toll on the indie scene.
Earlier today, news hit the Internet that BitSummit was canceled due to the coronavirus:
Due to growing concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are very sad to inform you that BitSummit The 8th Bit will no longer be held on May 9th and 10th as planned, as the spread does not show any sign of slowing down.
We would like to extend our deepest apologies for this inconvenience to all of our partners, supporters, exhibitors and long-time visitors who were eager to participate in the 8th edition of BitSummit.
This news was revealed amid reports of increased coronavirus activity. According to CNN, 54 more cases cropped up in Japan yesterday, bringing the country’s total number of cases up to 1,246.
If you haven’t heard of BitSummit, it is “Japan’s industry-leading independent game development festival.” Held in Kyoto since 2012, the convention was created as a way to give Japanese indie game developers the opportunity to demonstrate their work to the general gaming public.
However, similar to GDC 2020’s postponement until the summer, BitSummit’s will still be held at a later date. However, BitSummit’s organizers don’t have any solid details just yet:
We are incredibly thankful for all the support, advice and encouragement we’ve received from all our partners and patrons. Our plans are to continue working on BitSummit The 8th Bit, and we will share more information on the status of the show in the coming weeks.
While rumors have spread throughout the Internet of several gaming events other than BitSummit being canceled due to coronavirus concerns, many are unconfirmed at the time of writing.
We will continue to monitor the situation and report on any new developments. Stay safe out there.